Club surprised at White exit

Kenny Pogue on the ball for Hastings United against Tooting & Mitcham United on Monday night. Picture courtesy Joe Knight
Kenny Pogue on the ball for Hastings United against Tooting & Mitcham United on Monday night. Picture courtesy Joe Knight

Hastings United director Simon Rudkins revealed the football club was surprised by the resignation of manager Terry White.

White stepped down after less than eight months in The Pilot Field hot seat on the back of Monday night’s 3-0 defeat at home to Tooting & Mitcham United.

“It did come as a surprise, I don’t think we really expected it at all,” said Rudkins, who added that the club had no intention of parting company with White had he not resigned.

“His heart was so much Hastings United and it’s a shame it didn’t work out. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but he’s a very proud man and I can only assume he found it (Monday’s performance) unacceptable.”

White’s resignation came on the back of two home losses in little more than 48 hours, and United are now languishing in 19th in Ryman Football League Division One South with just 12 points from 11 games.

The U’s assembled a strong-looking side of experienced players over the summer and were expecting to mount a real challenge for promotion, but they are already 18 points behind unbeaten leaders Burgess Hill Town and eight adrift of the play-off places.

This time last week, though, things were looking up because United were on a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and had just won away to top six sides Whyteleafe (in the FA Cup) and Sittingbourne.

“The season hasn’t really gone how we expected it to, but it had gone so well the week before and that gave everyone confidence that the team were starting to find their feet and that things were going to be looking better,” Rudkins continued.

“It’s a shame for all of us really. I think he (White) was well-liked by the majority of the supporters and everyone I think would’ve wanted it to have ended on a high. I want to thank him for his efforts and wish him the best for the future.”

A club legend for his stellar performances during his playing days, White stepped up from first team coach to succeed John Maggs as manager in late January.

He led United to a fifth place finish last term and an unfortunate extra-time defeat to Folkestone Invicta in the play-off semi-finals. His overall record in all competitions read 14 wins, six draws and 16 defeats, with a 39% win rate.